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Consumer Digital Health and Hospitals

This week I’m attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. I’ve been attending the conference for about 8 years and so it’s been really interesting for me to see the evolution of the event. For those not familiar with it, it’s a massive event with well over 150,000 attendees across a wide array of consumer electronics.

I’ll admit that when I first attended the event, it was more about seeing the circus and enjoying the various consumer electronics as a consumer. Basically, there wasn’t very much digital health at CES 8 years ago. The same can’t be said today. There’s a whole Digital Health section including the conference within a conference Digital Health Summit. Each year the digital health portion of CES has gotten bigger and bigger and I expect it to be massive this week.

I already saw a sneak peak of a variety of health devices at the CES unveiled event. There are some really interesting things happening. A lot of the devices focus on health and fitness, but I’ll be interested to see how they bridge the divide to hospitals and doctors. Plus, I saw this really interesting hand held keyboard which could be really useful in healthcare. I’m sure to write more about it in the future.

While the technology at an event like CES is really cool and interesting, I wonder if any hospitals really take note of what’s happening. Does all this Digital Health that’s happening in the consumer space ever make it to the hospital environment? Ok, maybe the word “ever” is wrong. Of course any innovation will make it their eventually, but it doesn’t seem there’s a natural way for hospitals to learn and discover what’s happening in this space and how they can apply it to the hospital environment.

Am I correct on this or do you see something different? Hopefully I can do a little bit to help those in hospitals learn about what’s happening with Digital Health at an event like CES. So, watch for most CES related posts over the next week.

January 7, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Hospital EHR Device Integration

This week has been pretty crazy for me as I’ve been attending three conferences back to back. Plus, the conference in the middle is the 120,000 person CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. The healthcare section of CES has been growing like crazy. Those who had 10×10 booths last year now have 20×20 booths and the number of health IT related companies at CES has grown 20%.

As I’ve been browsing these ever growing booths about consumer health I’ve been smothered in various consumer focused devices. I’ve seen every sort of FDA cleared device including: Blood Pressure Cuffs, Scales, Dermascopes, Otoscopes, Pulse Oximeters, Stethoscopes, and Thermometers. The innovation with these devices is amazing. The integration with these devices and other device is amazing. The price point for these devices is dropping.

With all of this in mind, I’ve wondered why more hospitals aren’t taking a larger interest in what’s happening here. Not to mention why more hospital EHR vendors aren’t integrating with these devices as well. Someone asked me what’s the difference in these devices versus the ones that are being used in healthcare today. The obvious answer is price and brand recognition (trust). Although, they are all FDA cleared devices, so is there really a difference in the results? The FDA clearance process is quite rigorous. I don’t have the full answer to this question, so I’d love to hear from some hospital people and other device manufacturers to hear your view on it.

Maybe the answer is that hospitals are buying the big expensive devices because those are the devices that integrate with their hospital EHR system. If that’s the main reason, then we need more of the major hospital EHR vendors to start doing the medical device integration with these low cost alternatives. Imagine the cost savings.

The other side of the coin is hospitals deploying these devices to the patient. I’ve seen this in a few cases where the hospital wants to reduce readmissions. Although, it’s an interesting dance since it is largely under the purview of the primary care doctor. It’s always felt awkward that the hospital’s readmission issues are dependent on a group of doctors that don’t work in the hospital. Maybe this will change as hospitals buy up more doctors offices.

It’s an exciting time to see the devices coming to healthcare. I just wish I saw more hospitals and hospital EHRs involved in what’s happening. I wonder how many healthcare CIOs are seeing what’s happening and planning for it.

I predict 2013 will be the year of the consumer health device and I don’t think most hospitals or doctors are ready for it.

January 11, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.